Following two nights of howling winds, relentless thunder and lightening, and flood causing rains, most of Dubai found itself wading through the sludge combination of desert sand and rain the next morning. About this time every year, ‘rain watch’ begins. Those of us from rainy climes actually look forward to a little taste of home and the break in endless blue, sunny skies. Those not used to driving in visibility reducing torrential rain batten down the hatches and play the waiting game. As for the kids, they cannot contain their excitement; puddle is a puddle even if it is sometimes deep enough to swim in!
It is also this time of year that puts the quality of Dubai’s construction to the test. Can the flat roofs withstand the ferocious pounding of the teeming rain? How will new builds fair against their first barrage of Dubai’s winter?
Whilst everyone was panicking about the rain, negotiating potentially lethal puddles and being blown away by the blustery winds, my concern was the ‘cold’. The drop in temperatures was significant with the drop sometimes being in double figures! Sure, the rain is a lot nicer to look at than when one has to dodge in between pelting raindrops but once you are indoors, you are dry (that is if you did’t happen to pop to Spinneys on Al Wasl on Tuesday – the entire shop floor was covered in 2 inches of dirty rain water!). However, it is impossible to escape the cold.
I know, I know….’Oh puh-lease, it can’t be that cold!’ I hear my desert and more temperate climate friends scoff!
‘But it is‘ shiver my bones. Indeed, I think Dubai winters are becoming more and more harsh with each passing year.
I remember our first Dubai downpour; I felt like jumping in the puddles myself! It was fun. It was dark and brooding. It reminded me of home. It was not cold. People still went about their business in the desert’s staple fashion of flip flops, shorts and tank tops. It was warm and within hours, the sun burst through the blue skies, again reminding us that rain can be fleeting and does not need to last for days on end……
Fast forward a few years and picture closed shoes, jeans and sweaters……..even I thought this get up was a tad OTT and expected to be peeling off layers by noon. WRONG!
Leaving the house, a gusty breeze cut through my cardigan to chill my core. Seeking warm refuge from what felt like near zero temperatures, I jumped in my car. Who knew how cold a car could become when it is left to sit outside overnight????
‘Put the heating on, put the heating on’ yelled the kids in chorus as they they snuggled up under their fleece blankets ( I kid you not!) on the unforgiving chilly leather seats.
By the time we reached the school, we were all feeling nicely toasty. Unfortunately, the vents blasting 32.5 degree hot air hypnotised us into believing it was summer…….stepping outside we were reminded it was January; January in Dubai. Walks to and from the car became brisk. When I saw other Mums dressed as if they were going skiing, I snorted at their excessive wardrobe choices; knee high winter boots, fleece lined ski jackets, scarves. I swear I saw gloves and a balaclava stuffed in one mum’s handbag!
When I got home, however, I realised being indoors didn’t offer as much respite from outside’s cruel conditions. My feet began to feel like icicles; I put on Ugg boot type slippers. Despite copious amounts of tea, I just couldn’t warm up; I put on a thicker and longer cardigan which I hadn’t worn since a trip to Prague in February!!! My ears were cold; I resisted the temptation to don a woolly hat! I craved a large bowl of steaming homemade soup for lunch…….
There I was thinking I could find a snug haven in my central heating free home from the rain, and I did. I just couldn’t get away from the cold. Maybe it was time to go to the only place where I knew I could be warmed up……my car…….never too early to start the school run! #thinningblood #feelingcoldandold